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Texas attorney says Von Miller investigation will continue even if alleged victim recants

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Bills linebacker and former Super Bowl MVP Von Miller is still in hot water Friday after he turned himself in to face a felony assault warrant Thursday afternoon.

The 34-year-old allegedly assaulted his pregnant girlfriend in their luxury apartment Wednesday morning in Dallas, Texas. He turned himself in to police in Glenn Heights on Thursday and was processed at the DeSoto Regional Jail, where he posted $5,000 bond.

Police told News 4 that Miller and the victim “got into a verbal argument and the suspect assaulted the victim,” who suffered minor injuries but was not hospitalized. Under Texas law, assault against a pregnant person is a third-degree felony.

According to the ABC affiliate in Dallas, the victim is walking back some of her statements. She allegedly told the station “the situation was blown out of context” and “no one assaulted anyone.” News 4 was not able to independently confirm those statements.

A legal expert in Texas, however, said a statement made to the media does not exonerate Miller.

“If they have enough to suggest that something occurred, whether or not she recants, that’s not going to dictate letting him off the hook,” Wesley Sackrule, a criminal defense attorney in Dallas who is not affiliated with this case, told News 4 via Zoom on Friday.

Legal experts told News 4 on Thursday that assault is typically a class A misdemeanor in Texas but can be enhanced depending on the circumstances. According to Texas law, assaulting a pregnant person elevates the charge to a third-degree felony, which is punishable by up to 10 years in state prison if convicted.

“The idea that there’s pain and bruising that would suggest that there’s probable cause to continue on with this,” Sackrule said. “Regardless of whether she wants to recant her statement, they’re going to see whether or not the evidence will support an indictment in this situation.”

The Dallas Police Department’s Domestic Violence Unit interviewed the victim after the incident, police said, and “observed minor abrasions on [her] left hand along with bruising to her neck, injuries consistent with applied pressure to the neck.”

Miller was investigated for an alleged domestic incident in 2021, but was not charged by a district attorney in Colorado.

“[The Dallas County DA’s office] is going to know about these prior allegations. The fact that these charges were dismissed prior to, that’ll factor in to their decision whether or not to push further,” Sackrule said. “They don’t want to cut corners and they want to make sure they get this right.”

The Dallas County District Attorney’s Office did not have anything in its prosecution system about this case as of Friday morning.

Miller’s agent did not respond to a requests for comment.

On Thursday, the Buffalo Bills said the team was made aware of an incident involving Miller and is “in the process of gathering more information.” The NFL said in a statement it is working with the Bills amid the investigation. The Bills are currently on their bye week. They visit the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, Dec. 10.

The warrant affidavit

Miller and his girlfriend have been in a romantic relationship for 7 years and have children together, according to the warrant for his arrest. The document also states that the victim, whose name is being withheld by News 4, is six weeks pregnant and had discussed her due date and doctor’s visits with Miller.

According to the warrant, the incident began over an argument about travel plans. When Miller’s girlfriend slammed a door out of frustration, Miller allegedly became “visibly angry” and yelled at her to “get out” while attempting to push and shove her out of the apartment.

The warrant states that both Miller and the victim attempted to record video on their phone during the altercation. Miller allegedly left the apartment once his girlfriend said she was going to call the police.

The warrant affidavit accuses Miller of the following as the incident escalated:

  • Pushing his girlfriend while stepping on her feet, causing her to fall back into a chair
  • Applying pressure around her neck with one hand for 3-5 seconds
  • Throwing her laptop on the ground and stomping on it
  • Pulling her by her hair and ultimately pulling out a chunk of hair
  • Grabbing her and pushing her into a couch
  • Applying pressure around her neck with both hands, causing pain but no difficulty breathing

Legal experts in Texas say this will be a lengthy legal process and the district attorney’s office will not begin their investigation until it receives the police documents, which could take about a month. Then, prosecutors will investigate the case and could push it to grand jury, which would decide if Miller should be indicted and go to trial on these charges.

Several attorneys in Dallas say this case will likely be expedited because of Miller’s status and plea deal or other agreement could be made during the investigation.